tv Q A CSPAN June 8, 2014 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT
up, george miller of staternia and the annual opening of the british parliament. ♪ >> "q&a this week on -- this w our guest is representative george miller. he's retiring at the end of this term after 40 years in the u.s. house. when did you first think of stepping down from congress, after 20 terms? >> probably eight or nine months ago. when it was first really brought to my attention that i had been here 40 years, i had never
thought of it in those terms. i had approached this job where every day is a new opportunity, and yesterday was yesterday and today is a new day. i never thought of in the idea of how long i had been. that started me thinking, and my sons started thinking about, why don't you come home? we started having a family conversation. >> where is the district? >> the east side of san and to theay, interior of california. it used to go quite a ways into the interior. >> you have been chairman of a couple committees. what are those? >> chairman of the natural resources committee in the house, house education and labor committee, and a subcommittee on children, youth and families a number of years ago the tip o'neill created. >> go back to the days your
father was in politics. what was he like? voice in a big california politics. he was one of the founders of the california democratic committee, the left wing of the democratic party, and very involved in education, very involved in our community. i saw the good things he was able to accomplish, created a master plan for higher education and made higher education accessible to communities, created community colleges, and the state college system and the university system and brought them together. for things in our community, helps people who are losing their fishing boats because commercial fishermen were being thrown off of the river and asking him for help. and was anybody going to pay them or compensate them for the fact that they took away their livelihood? they would come to our house on
a saturday morning. people would come and see my father all the time from our community. me, and i started developing a theory of leverage. he had leverage, he could get things done. he would take you at the bus stop and say, what are you doing it's cool they -- in school t oday? i would say nothing. i would sit silently and watch and watch. i was impressed with the good things you can do. >> how old were you when you are going around sacramento with them? >> i started out very young. we use to go up for easter, and they would make you honorary pages. the family members could sit in the front of the chambers. i think i was probably 10, 11 years old when i started following him to a campaign event in watching him in a debate, going to community meetings when i was in high school. >> can you remember a moment back in those times -- i don't know if it was really
a moment. i think he sensed it when he said, so you think you want to get into this business? i said, i don't know. you get to do a lot of interesting things. rural roading on a going from one end of the district to the other, it was kind of late at night. he said, if you ever get in this business, just remember they don't have anything you want. you do what you want to do and get it done. >> how many years was he a state senator? >> 22 years. >> when did you lose him? eve, he69 on new year's had a stroke or heart attack and died instantly. >> when you first ran, what happened? >> [laughter] he passed away, and people came to me and said, you should run. i had just started law school
and was married and had two children. i did not know. campaign manager, longtime family friend, said if you ever think you will get into politics, you should run now. i didn't win. it was a spirited campaign, huge primary in the democratic side. entrenchedst a well district attorney. a wonderful public servant. i had a mandate to go back to law school. >> have you ever lost an election since then? >> no. i have been very fortunate. job very seriously, and that's part of the decision to leave is whether or not i could continue to do it in this atmosphere the way i thought i should be able to do it. i have had a great run and great fortune.
there has never been an election season for me. i felt i should always go and check in with the people i represent, town hall meetings, whatever those occasions are. you cannot just show up after labor day in the even-numbered years and think people have a good feeling about you. that makes him cynical. you are only here when you need their vote. how many flights back and forth between washington and san francisco have you taken over the 40 years? >> probably 40 flights a year, and other travel. united told me i am past 5 million miles a year ago. >> how do you do it? >> you just do it. you don't limited or worry about it. i keep my watch on east coast -- lament it or worry about it. i keep my watch on east coast time so i know how long i've
been up. you don't complain to your spouse or family. you signed up for the job and you chose to do it this way. >> where did your family lived during this time? >> they were here for the first five years. my youngest son wanted to go to school in california. my oldest boy went to school in d.c. to go back tonted our home town, so i started commuting. four years later, i'm still commuting. [laughter] >> you were elected after richard nixon resigned in 1974, took your job in 1975. what was it like back then, in the middle of vietnam and watergate? >> dynamic. country was in a time of heightened political activity, something around the war that was so familiar with me. to collegecome off campuses and was involved in those issues.
i was staff in the state legislature, so i knew all the politics of watergate, watch the hearings. the fulbright hearings on vietnam, the hearings on some of thenew people that were involved in those hearings. it was about as dynamic a political environment as you can imagine. if this is what you want to do, that was the playoffs. everybody was in. both the public and the politicians, and what this was going to me to this country going forward. inyou are retiring, and january, there will only be five people left in the house of representatives that were there prior to television coming to the house of representatives. >> i remember when it came.
it wasn't very welcome, actually. [laughter] you. have video of this was the earliest we could find in our archive. let's watch you in 1981, and i'll ask you what you think. [video clip] >> last night the president told us country that once again he was preparing for severe cuts in programs to help the needy, programs to help the elderly, and he also admitted he's running a little short of revenue, so he's intending to introduce a tax bill to close the loopholes to the tune of $3 billion. i would like to help the president in that effort. today i'm introducing legislation each will reduce the federal subsidy to the free martini lunch from 100% to 70%. we ought to ask wealthy businessman in this country who are now having the federal government pick up half the cost of every lunch for them and their friends when they go to lunch on a business day to give a little bit of their subsidy up
before we close down school lunch programs all over the country. >> over 30 years ago. ever change? were you ever successful in cutting out the lunches? >> not completely. >> are you surprised? >> not surprised. it's a well entrenched system in washington. one of the things that did surprise me was how entrenched interests are in the city. that is on steroids 40 years later. everybody has a crew of advocates in one form or another. trying to draw the inconsistencies in what the president was trying to do. >> when you got here, who was your mentor? >> phil burton, the congressman from san francisco. a major player within the democratic caucus. he had a historic run for the
leadership, who against jim wright -- which was a real battle, the caucus was very fractured at that time. there were the left and moderates, the right democrats. it was something to see. came, we got class 75 votes to our caucus. there were people who had been laying the groundwork for congressional reform for a decade, but never had the votes to achieve it. they couldwed up, accomplish much of that congressional reform. it was a real contest about what the direction of that reform was going to take. in sanhe marina francisco there's a statue of phil burton on the edge. what was he like? >> he was a force. in many ways. he was very loud and gregarious and pointed and direct.
the politics, really understood trying to position issues and putting coalitions together. he put the coalition together. that school lunch program was one of the largest consumers of food in the nation, and many of them would support -- the urban people would support some of the programs. that coalition has come apart and really doesn't exist in any kind of cooperative fashion in congress, but at that time that was a remarkable thing he did with dawson mathis, that brokered those votes, the urban and rural votes. could really make people upset. he was very direct. >> how long ago did he die? >> you are talking to the wrong
guy. i have never thought years, times, days. >> it has been a longtime. of two peopleideo that you know. this is 1984. tip o'neill and newt gingrich. [video clip] trying toson we are focus on the speaker is because it is the speaker, with the full majesty and weight of his position who yesterday made certain allegations which at this point he has not yet answered. [indiscernible] >> you have an audience. you don't normally have that in the 26 hours you have presented this case to the public. the whole tenor of your remarks and 1972, to 1970, taken out of context -- you were there for one purpose alone, in my opinion, and that was to imply that members of this side
were un-american in their activities. you stopped and waited. you knew there was nobody here. >> camscam. put those two men from your perspective -- give us your perspective on the two. >> speaker o'neill was a giant. he knew the politics of the house. himself inh of it to terms of other members. amount ofd a great intelligence all day long, from members, what was going on in different places. politics wasieved the art of the possible, that nobody got their way all the time, and he was a broker within the democratic caucus and house. gingrich,aw was newt who made a conscious decision that he would always be in the minority because they worked
with the majority. he started attacking bob michael, the leader, and john rhodes, and everybody on that because he own party said this, the only avenue to the majority is through conference ration -- conf rontation. he would ask these rhetorical questions and make these charges. he knew the chamber was empty. at that time, the camera was very tight on the speaker, wherever they were. it changes the whole dynamics. that many process years later has torn this institution apart, and has really paralyzed the institution. >> you think that's when it started? >> yes. he was angry that bob michael
and him would share a car ride. >> different parties. >> they would drop off congressman madigan. ,ive guys in the station wagon trying to beat expenses to get home. that upset him, that bob michael played golf with tip o'neill. tip believed it is the art of the possible. newt gingrich believe it should be his way or no way. it changed the whole institution. blaming the cameras at that time, and was it a mistake? >> not a mistake to blame the cameras. they were not even there. >> transparency. let's stick with transparency. are you going to blame twitter, facebook? no. this is the world of this political arena operates in today, and everyone needs to
live with it. it's a big change. >> here is some video of jim wright resigning from the congress after he had been in a confrontation with newt gingrich. [video clip] >> it is grievously hurtful to our society. vilification becomes an accepted form of political debate. negative campaigning becomes a full-time occupation. when members of each party become self-appointed vigilantes, carrying out personal vendettas against other members -- that is not what this institution is supposed to be all about. when a vengeance becomes more , andable than vindication harsh personal attacks upon one another's motives and character
drowned out the quiet logic of serious debate on important issues, things we ought to be involved ourselves in. surely that is unworthy of our institution, and unworthy of the american political process. parties must resolve to bring this period of mindless cannibalism to an end. [applause] >> what do you remember from that time? that was a historically defining speech, both was -- what was happening at the moment, and predicting where we were going. i don't think we saw the predicted part of that speech because jim wright was the subject of the attacks. he had made some mistakes.
he had made some mistakes, so it was personalized in that moment. is whatspeaks of their we live today, 20 years later. years --t lasted 25 >> why hasn't lasted 25 years? >> -- has it lasted 25 years? >> i think of money and the tea party. like differents conservative movements, liberal movements. this was grabbed onto by the various moneyed interests from very different points on the compass, that they saw a vehicle to ronald reagan government is the problem. i believe it's the opposite, the government is the engine of a lot of good things for the american people. when i look akamai legislative
record, when i look back why i got here, the people that have been empowered and had their lives changed for the better because of governmental action, the people who don't breathe dirty air any longer, children with disabilities who can go to a regular school and get an education and go on to college, he were cast aside and put in basements when i got here. manically changed the lives of people to make college more accessible and affordable -- has dramatically changed the lives of people, to make college more accessible and affordable. they wanted to prosecute that argument. it was this attack on jim wright. he predicted where it would go, and it cannibalized the institution. we are not doing the people's business. the country is a loser every day we are not doing their business. you can package that any way you want it. that is what we're here to do,
provide some stewardship for the future of this nation. >> how did the place change? it has drifted into a much more partisan arrangement. party loyalty is certainly more demented than in the past. -- demanded than in the past. there was at point a key whether or not you would get an earmark. beelieve earmarks can too misused. they should be brought back, certainly for the congress. the line became harsher and brighter over time. institution that to some extent i think more on the republican side, because of the tea party, that is living in and intimidation. i have a lot of conversations with people on the other side. i have asked people to support
legislation, which is what they did when they were in state legislature. my leadership will put up with that, i will not get a subcommittee chair. that was the rules. newt gingrich took out a couple of people who are supposed to be chairman of the appropriations committee, and basically took the dog out in the middle of the street and shot him. everyone understood that the there.hip was that has now ended. the leadership decides what they want to do and go to the rules committee, they limit the debate and come to the floor. the idea of this deliberative body where people debate and there was the sense if somebody did not yield to you, it's a matter of pride i don't
yield the floor for questioning. the cross examination that took place my first 10 or 15 years, you had better know your stuff when he went to the floor with a bill. -- you went to the floor with a bill. you had better be prepared when you take questions from members who are hostile to you. that was the give and take from the various points on the compass and interest. >> what were you thinking on january 4, 1995 as you were watching this? [video clip] us to dedicate ourselves and reach out in a genuinely nonpartisan way, to be honest to each other. party, my doorto will be open. i will listen to each of you. i will try to work with each of you. iwill put in long hours, and guarantee i will listen to you first. i will let you get it all out before i give you my version. you have been patient with me
today, and given me a chance to set the stage. >> what were you thinking? i did not believe that is what he was about. i was pretty focused on the personality. therenot believe it or it was nothing in his record that suggested to me that is why he was ascending to the speakership. i turned out to be pretty correct. unusualave one of these things, you own a townhouse on capitol hill. you had three other guys that live there with you, senator schumer and senator durbin. somebody else? >> leon panetta was there for a while. when you guys get together and you were dealing with a guy like newt gingrich from your standpoint, what would you say about this? >> you try to pull it apart politically, what does this mean, where are they going, what is the support system.
what are they getting away with, what are the structures that he is building that are inhibitors to something that we want to accomplish, what is the impact, what is the fallout? [laughter] thus the conversations. you try to analyze this, what does it mean to the country, what does it mean to our districts or what we believe in or to the institution? said this was a storm warning for the institution. what did it feel like when you were in the minority? what changes? you lose the ability to make the chain on time. you are in second position. first there was respect between the minority and majority.
there was a handing over of the gavel. that continued for a while. it became harsher and harsher until he got where it is today. you had people who were veterans of the system on the republican side, who had worked together across the aisles back and forth. the elementary, secondary education was a bipartisan act. over time, those people retired and they lost their seats or whatever happened to them. came without that experience. if you want it to congress today, you enter a free fire zone. >> here you are on august 3, 1995. [video clip] >> the fatcat lobbyists are sitting in your office. they are contribute into your campaigns.
the peace and freedom foundation -- >> the gentleman has expired. the time of the gentleman has expired. >> this is a glorious day. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. >> this is regular order when i get angry. it's a glorious day. the gentleman from california -- >> if you are a fascist, it's a glorious day. that's what it's about. talk to me. help me now. give me a prayer. >> the house will be in order. >> it's tough out there, ladies and gentlemen. >> the gentleman from california has an obligation to the rules of the house. the gentleman is out of order. >> yes. >> the gentleman will be in
order. the gentleman is not in order. the gentleman should take a seat. >> to you or member that day? >> -- do you remember that day? >> yes. >> were you seriously mad, or was that an act? >> we were talking about issues of disparity. decision thatious i was going to push the envelope. i have done a number of times. sometimes the rules overwhelm the argument, and especially now. you get five minutes on one side of the issue. i remember when they said you can only have five minutes no matter what you discuss. i got up and started reading the bible, and they could not figure out how to gavel me down. running aroundm saying, you have to object. but i'm not objecting. he's reading the bible.
that was in august of 1995. >> had feelings become pretty frayed by that moment? >> sure. nick --newt gingrich was pushing the agenda. package, anda total policy is part of that total package. as we all know, you are competing for people receiving a message. that's it. >> what does it mean to be a liberal? i assume you don't run away from that. >> not at all. i asked my father that question. he said, it means you're open to new evidence.
not sure i fully understood that until much later. is toized how hard it deal with new evidence, especially when you don't like the evidence. the question is, are you open to it? a counternt to form argument, you may want to cross examine it, but you don't just dismiss it because you have your position. >> the vietnam war, where were you? war.ainst the >> [indiscernible] >> that was one of the things used against me in 1969. i went to san francisco state, which was a hotbed of resistance. we had tactical squads on campus and police on campus all the time. >> where were you on the 1991, when wein went in to save kuwait? >> i think i supported it. >> where were you on the rack
2003?003 -- iraq war >> against it. it did not make sense. his was a completely manufactured episode. a completely manufactured episode. people were working on how we would establish a real base in the middle east that would somehow lead to the democratization and freedoms in the middle east. underlan was dusted off the name of weapons of mass destruction and all of the rest of the fall from that. >> where were you on the afghan war? >> i was there to get the perpetrators. knowing how it was misused, i should've voted no. there was only one who stood up to say no on that. that became the open-ended powers. you cannot do that ever again. 10 years later, we were there. the perpetrators escaped. we stayed and widened the war.
>> here we are in 2008. you are talking about energy and president bush and dick cheney. [video clip] strugglerican families with the rising cost of energy, as it makes their commute to work even more expensive, as they think about buying home heating oil for this winter, think about how it could've been. think about how their life would have been different. for the last seven years, instead of defending the subsidies for big oil companies tom of the tax breaks for big oil companies, and the royalty companies,r big oil if the bush and cheney administration had put their heads together and thought about the future as opposed to the past. have two oilmen together in the oval office of the white house, they think about the past, and that is protecting the oil companies, not about the future. think if president bush had come out for any increase in the mileage standards years ago,
where we would have been instead of defending for 32 years the right of the automobile companies to keep us away for more efficient automobiles. that would have been the future. the bush-cheney administration has never thought about the future. they have only thought about the past, and that has turned out to be terribly costly to the american consumer. >> oil. where are you on the pipeline? >> i'm against it. it's not the pipeline. we have pipelines all over the country. i have five refineries in and around my district. it's a fact that we are choosing to take the dirtiest oil available and putting it on the market, when we don't have to do that now and we should not do that now. we should be continuing to ramp up the use of renewables. renewables are working and they are getting cheaper. that's important. i went to president bush and dick cheney and sat and talked to both of them.
the price was being manipulated on energy in california. when the meeting was over, it was over. the president never said a word and dick cheney said, we will see you in the spring. hope it gets warmer. >> why is california often one of the highest prices for gasoline in the country? >> we are a bit of an orphan market. we cannot move a lot of product into california. it comes from ship it overseas d overseas and an alaska. california has some of the highest utility prices in the country. are second, third, or fourth in the lowest utility bills because we are the most efficient users of energy. that's the whole point. we are more efficient. even though energy is expensive in california, your pg&e corp. bill is among the lowest in the nation.
california approves the case. jerry brown in 1974 start of home insulation. it is much less expensive to than it is ine texas, where they have no efficiency standards. >> in your 20 elections you have had, the first one you got 55% of the vote. after that, you never went below 60%. some people would say these districts are being drawn for both parties' sake. >> i have had it just as strong by those of us in the congress in the state legislature. i am in the district now that was drawn by the citizens commission. move it however you want. the commissions did a pretty
good job. inood job for the public terms of making the districts more concise. i have been moved around more than any democrat in northern california. >> what is your biggest city in your district? >> concorde, california. >> what would have been the biggest when you started? >> probably richmond, california. concord has a lot of growth. 150,000. >> what is the status of people running for your seat now? >> the front runner is a state senator from the district. , verythe mayor of concord energetic and talented young man. >> how many are running in the primary? >> i think there's four. >> why would a republican even run? >> i don't know. >> after 40 years, nobody has even gotten close. >> when i was reapportioned
north towards sacramento, some of these towns i have now 20 years later were republican, and now they're marginally democratic. there's been a big shift. it's really a move to the independents. if you thought you could garner a republican independents and some democratic votes, you would have to be a moderate progressive republican to do that. if you look at the republican party on california, on the coast it is down to 24% and in the state is down to 30%. >> what did it? >> started out with anti-immigration with pete wilson and the propositions on the ballot, and the harsh republican politics. the right wing has embarrassed republicans in my district. i think they're embarrassed by the tea party and don't want to have anything to do with it. others are independents.
>> recently, george w. bush talked about you. [video clip] >> these reform efforts gathered into a national accountability movement and culminated in the bipartisan effort all no child left behind. it's a rare issue that can unite ted kennedy, mia george miller. [laughter] -- me and george miller. somebody told me that george miller was here. ground. common schools must demonstrate improved results on reading and math for minority children, or face consequences if they don't. imagine that anything so basic could be so controversial. >> awesome guy. what does that sound like? >> typical george bush. >> what does that mean? >> he speaks in a very colloquial fashion. has always been that way.
it's pretty refreshing. >> how did you get along with them? >> we got along with him because he was doing something i had never seen done before, where as was prepared to take responsibility for the performance of each and every child. it wasn't a perfect system, but i have never seen anyone willing to break out how each child was doing in a fourth grade class. i was intrigued by that, because i could see what was happening in my district trade -- distr ict. the averages were a way to hide the poor performance of half of the student body in an elementary school, especially if it was poor, minorities, reduced lunch eligible. coming from texas and from a was the only guy willing to step up and say, this is what i will produce for you. and he did. it's now considered a basic,
fundamental civil rights law. you are responsible for the performance of poor minority children in this country. the reason you don't have that performance, and a lot of it is the politics of education. what we see now through the charter school movement or reinventing public schools, children can thrive in a good educational environment. they are learning and going to college. we are wasting too many lives, to many minds. george bush opened that up. when ted kennedy and i talked about it, we both saw the opportunities in terms of the civil rights of these kids and neighborhoods and families. he was completely comfortable with that. he had some add-ons i did not like. but this fundamental part, if you talk to the business community, civil rights community, they understand exactly what this means in terms
of the human capital of this nation. you cannot afford the failures we continue to even accept today if you are going to have a strong economy. if you are going to maintain a democracy in a huge, diverse country like america, you better have a well-educated population. nobody else has tried to do this. be themocracy may hardest part. we keep talking about this in terms of the economy, holding onto our economy is incredibly important. holding onto your democracy is incredibly important. me run a clip of tom coburn, who is way over to the other side of you and came on and we had the same discussion. he's getting out after 16 years. let's watch this and see what you say about his point on this. [video clip] >> the american voter is not stupid.
the question is if they have limited choices. they have a choice of a career republican or career democrat most of the time. i got into politics never having been in it before, which means you can do it, but it's difficult. that is why term limits will change some of this. that's not the answer. the answer is real leadership, speaking the real truth. the american people already know, they just don't have the focus on the details of what they know. they do not trust us because they have not earned our trust. because we trust us have been expedient as we have dealt with them. they do not trust us because of the actions of the typical person whose primary motive is to get reelected, not to fix the country. what do you say? >> that is a generality. much of it is pretty accurate. first of all, you have to
control your own actions. i see myself as a career politician, 40 years. the question is, how do you manage yourself in that career? if you think it is an entitlement, you have a problem. home every i go weekend. i'm on the street, i'm in a town hall meeting, community meeting. i am meeting with the oil industry. that is my job. if someone wants to take a run at it, run at it. that is going to be more difficult for public officials the advent ofof large sources of money that can be targeted anywhere without regard to you. almost becomes immaterial because the district is swamped by outside advertising and money in organizations. it is as dangerous as can be.
the idea that you can have a democracy, and you can have anonymous amounts of unlimited they, is inconsistent with idea that you are holding onto a democracy where every vote counts and every voice is important. if people want to wake up and think about -- i used to wake up and think about, what did -- what if they drop the atomic bomb? wake up every morning and think, what is this weapon of unlimited secret money, and what does it mean to me and my family and my community, my democracy in my nation? it says that since 1989, you raised $7.5 million. added that fit with others you know? >> -- how did that fit with others you know? >> i don't know. >> the top five industries. in every case, except one, they are all unions.
the most anybody gives you with the billing trades union. a it the same thing when union supports a member as it is when a corporation does? >> i think it's the same thing. political speech is political speech. you can castigate the other person, and you can decide the issues they are supporting at that moment, that that is wrong or a nonconstitutional issue or a bigoted issue. that is the political marketplace. at least you have all the money you are getting exposed, and people can make judgments. we have seen campaigns that have turned right around in california where the money was undisclosed. the minute disclosure came out, it lost 60/40. what was the secret? all the money was coming from out of state oil companies trying to torpedo our climate bill. people said, that argument sounds good.
paid and purchased for. we can all point fingers at the money. ofclosure changes a lot people's behavior. they are willing to do things anonymously they are not willing to do publicly in terms of businesses. so much disclosure in this town is delayed. >> why? >> it is senator coburn's sector. he's going to get out and work for an amendment to the constitution, not for term limits, but he's going to be involved in trying to change things. what are you going to do when you get out? >> take a deep breath. >> to you have something you want to do? myi would like to follow passions. my passions are education of young children, the equity in , thetion, the environment protection of public lands, and the rights of working men and
women here and around the world. >> will you lobby? >> i hope not to lobby. >> why not? >> these are my friends. i'm not going back to put the arm on them. i'm pretty middle-class, and i can live without lobbying and plan to live without lobbying. your son is a lobbyist. they came after you because of an earmark or for a company -- >> the relationship, what they were trying to put together never existed. >> how did he end up in lobbying? he ran for elected politics, he ran for the state assembly and narrowly lost. sacramento and join a firm. >> why is he not running for your seat? he looked at it as
today, it's not as attractive as it would have been. he's not running for my seat. he made it very clear. told him, a lot of people wanted him to come to washington. i was now in the majority, in the leadership in all of this. i said, you're going to come to washington and someday either you or i will be embarrassed. why don't you stay where you are doing a wonderful job? you, youalk about don't talk about me. just do what you are doing and be happy in your life. >> [indiscernible] the public sees both sides out of here involved in this business. they would never believe you on the right that your son did not have an involvement when he got the money. had he get there? -- how did he get there? >> a lot of it is manufactured. you are demonizing the other
person. you are demonizing the person --ing it, or demonizing they're making the argument, whether they are poor people, whether they are kids in the school lunch program or oil executives. you pick a choice of a day. has completely changed. today you question everybody's motives. i remember when i questioned a guys motive, because he owned nursing homes. he turned out to be one of the most honorable members of our caucus. he said, don't ever question my motives. that's really a d koran issue. -- decorum issue. it's also a question of how public debate is handled and managed. if you want to go down to, i never have to prove up a point on the floor to the congress, the united states of america, i'm asking him to vote a certain way, i never have to prove the what i'm saying is true or not
-- that's a big problem. if you can demonize every one of your opponents as the sole purpose of political debate, -- i'm lookingn , and it is still a magnificent instrument, the government, the congress, house, senate, to do really good things for the american people. it has done really good things. people are in such a better place because of this government, whether it is the elderly, schoolchildren, or children, children with disabilities, working people who are in safer working places than ever before, fewer people are dying on the job. when it's not regulated, we get people killed. coal mines still invade the law, -- evade the law, but it's better than it ever was. that's because there was governmental intervention, in the best nature of that action on behalf of the people.
that is really what this institution is about. that's my experience, and it has been a great run. but it's time to go home. >> here you are, october the second, 2013. [video clip] >> did you think about the parks when you voted to cut to shut down the government? did you think about the impact? the gentleman from montana yesterday came to the floor and said it is hurting the local economy. the gentleman from california said, the towns around yosemite. was he thinking about that when he voted to shut down the government? to sacrifice the local economy. he was prepared to sacrifice the towns around yosemite when he was on a jihad against american citizens getting access to health care. he was fully prepared to sacrifice the parks and the economy and fire recovery. but you know you found out in the last 24 hours? millions of americans went to
find health care to sign up for health care, to get access for health care. >> had you feel about this bill at this point -- how do you feel about this bill at this point? >> as proud of it as i can ever be. the only victims are the american people who have not been able to get in. when 1974, when iran, -- i ran, the vietnam war, single-payer health care. i feel good about my public service. in your opinion, how long will it take until people are all covered? >> you have to get through the next presidential election. my view is the 2016 clarifies a lot of things in this country. day more and more people recognize the importance of the health care act.
it's a personal experience. assault andconstant mistruths about it. you have to keep pushing forward. changing social policy is not easy. it's not easy to desegregate housing, provide for our schools. everyone knows you cannot live an hour if you are a working woman and you have a child at home. weapon,just a political to say this would be anti-jobs, all the studies show. public policy is hard. i'm very proud to be associated with it. >> last clip, this is from this year. you are not in this clip. here is the president of the united states. [video clip] >> of course, to reach millions more, congress does not need to get on board.
today the federal minimum wage is worth about 20% less than it was when ronald reagan first stood here. tom harkin and george miller have a bill to fix that by lifting the minimum wage to $10.10. it's easy to remember. this will help families. it will give businesses customers with more money to spend. it does not involve any new bureaucratic programs. join the rest of the country. say yes. give america a raise. [applause] >> what do you think of the president? he's operating under one of the most difficult circumstances. the assault has not stopped from the day he was sworn in the first time. feelings against him. some of it is race-based.
it has been a tough sled for them. >> 25% of your district is hispanic. do you get all of that vote? i have spent a lot of time in the hispanic community. i was a farm worker among hispanics. i know that community pretty darn well. how important is that vote going to be in the future? will there ever be an immigration bill? >> there is going to be an immigration bill. that vote grows in importance every day. i meet these young people who have worked so hard, the dreamers who were so courageous to step out of the shadows and asked for at least some limited rights, and the access to education. imagine us denying them access to education. they show up. they are the tops of their
class, and competitive with everybody else. anare going to have immigration vote. everybody knows it is a matter of, do you do it because you think it helps you in the presidential and 2016, or because it helps in the congressional races? republicans are paying a price for not doing it. the business community overwhelmingly supports it, and the country overwhelmingly supports it. this is an infusion. we recognize what immigration has brought us in terms of creativity and initiative. last question is about the money. when you first came here, the debt was a couple trillion dollars. it is now $17 trillion plus. everybody talks about the unfairness to your kids, your grandkids, and their grandkids. how do we get out of this? years, butme eight
president clinton adopted pay-as-you-go. it became the law of the land. when he left office, we had a $5 trillion surplus. alan greenspan was wondering if we would ever sell a 30 year bond again. then we went off to war and did not pay for it. we did a tax cut. and we did not pay for it. we have been in debt ever since. i'm still a big fan of pay-as-you-go. john kennedy said this was about new priorities. which of theecide old priorities you will now get rid of. that cost of competition should be in place. it's one thing to be for everything, it's another to pay for everything. it's a great meeting of the left and right about priorities, if you have a religious late of processed. process.slative [indiscernible]
all of a sudden, the united states of america for the first time was rolling in money. bushok six months of the administration to run us into a debt we never recovered again. >> what are you going to do with that townhouse? >> i'm going to see if i can get them to pay the rent they only. [laughter] -- owe me. >> george miller, leaving congress at the end of this year after 40 years. thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] >> for free transcripts or to give us your comments about this program, visit us at q&a.org. programs are also available at c-span podcasts. >> c-span's new book includes financial journalist gretchen
morgan said. >> what role will the government play in housing finance? if you want to subsidize housing in this country, and we want to talk about it and the possible degrees and it is something we should subsidize, and put it on the balance sheet and make it clear and make it evident, and make everybody aware of how much it is costing. when you deliberate through these third-party enterprises, fannie mae and freddie mac, and you deliver subsidy through a public company with private shareholders, and executives who can extract a lot of that subsidy for themselves, that is not a very good way of subsidizing homeownership. >> read more of our conversation with gretchen morgenson and "ther features from our "q&a program. >> next queen elizabeth ii.